Debate Magazine

Peace Talks

Posted on the 24 July 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

If you Google the phrase, you get, for example, the following list of combatants/opponents:
Israel v Fatah/Hamas
Afghanistan v Pakistan/Taliban
Colombia v FARC
Ukraine v Russian separatists
Now, we now that these talks are doomed to failure, as the parties will never agree with each other.
But what we ought to try at least, is invite all eight parties to Geneva and choose random pairs to hold talks (like the World Cup draw).
So the Israeli negotiating team ends up sitting down with FARC; Russian separatists go face to face with Colombia; Ukraine meets up with Fatah/Hamas, and so on.
They can have a gay old chat with each other, have a good moan about respective grievances and problems, their aims and goals but will agree they have no actual differences.
So FARC agrees that it will not try to overthrow the Israeli state and Israel agrees that it will not interfere in the Central American drug trafficking and kidnapping business etc, they sign a mutual non-agression and free trade pact and become best mates.
After the first round, lots are drawn again until every team has negotiated with six other teams, each time shaking hands and getting on famously.
In the final round, a few days later once everybody is nice and relaxed and in a conciliatory mood, negotiating teams sit down with their original opponents.
With a bit of luck, in the final round, they'll be so caught up in the mood that they will actually kiss, compromise and make up.

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